Sarah Nicole Landry is getting real about postpartum life, three years after welcoming her youngest child.
On Wednesday, the Canadian influencer popularly known as The Birds Papaya, shared a candid new Instagram Reel about her postpartum journey. The mom-of-four, who gained popularity for her body positivity advocacy, shared her personal evolution and the emotional process of reconnecting with herself.
"I am officially three years postpartum and I'm starting to feel like myself again and I want to talk about it," Landry began her video.
According to Landry, "feeling like ourselves" prompts people to think of returning to a version of themselves that was "familiar." However, the Guelph, Ont. native revealed her journey hasn't felt like a return to a former self, it's been a process of letting that person go.
"What I have found is that I had to grieve who I was before. I really had to grieve," she admitted. "Grief is a processing tool. My friend once said this quote to me: 'Grief is love with nowhere to go.'
"I stand here with my apron belly that really never went away, with stretch marks all the way up my body, a chest that is now a little bit more wrinkly and I'm feeling like myself again."
In her caption, Landry reiterated the gradual nature of postpartum recovery. She highlighted the diversity of postpartum experiences, noting "the first time I came to peace with my stretch marks, I was eight years postpartum."
Landry is hopeful that in "another three years time," she can say, "'I'm feeling like myself again.'"
"Not because I got lost along the way (although I may), but because I continue to be in an ebbing and flowing body, continuing to face discomfort, meet and re-familiarize myself to every new and upcoming version of me," she concluded.
Landry's followers thanked her for her candid admission and shared their own stories of evolving postpartum.
"I'm three years postpartum from my twins and I just thought that to myself the other day 'I'm starting to feel like a human with interests etc. again,'" one mom said.
"I'm a big believer that postpartum is forever," another wrote. "And I don’'t say that in a hopeless way — it's a reality."
"Wow, I feel this so deeply," someone else said. "I also had to grieve the old version of me and though it took me two years, this new version of truly feeling like 'myself' again was so worth the wait. Thank you for sharing this."
"If someone had just told me this before I had my child, I wouldn't have suffered nearly as much. Wish there was more emphasis on this during birthing classes. We need postpartum classes in the same way we have birthing classes," another mother added.
"Postpartum compassion lasts for like two weeks and then it feels like expectation city," she wrote before assuring her fans that bodies can look like hers briefly, for an entire decade after giving birth or without ever having a child at all.
"Your body carrying your own life is just as valid as carrying another's," she stated.